Life Notes—September 30, 2010
“…the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is (broken) for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’” 1 Corinthians 11:23b-24
I have heard the phrase “Do this in remembrance of me,” for as long as I can remember. With every communion service I’ve attended, that line or some variation of it, has been uttered. It seemed odd to me, and it made me think Jesus was an egomaniac. You see, if Jesus insisted we remember him every time we took communion, then he must have been afraid he would be forgotten, right? And if he feared being forgotten, he must have been very self-centered. I confess, I thought less of him because of it.
But what if our remembrance of Jesus wasn’t for his posterity, but for our well-being? What if Jesus knew that by remembering him and the sacrifice he made for us, our lives would go better? What if he knew we would get distracted by our daily lives and frequently forget that our less-than-Christian thoughts and actions have already been forgiven, and that we are loved and cherished beyond our wildest dreams in spite of how un-God-like we may seem at any given moment? What if, in that upper room at that last supper with his disciples, he knew we would NEED to remember?
I believe he did know. So he asked us to remember—not for his sake, but for ours. Every time we eat the bread and drink the wine (juice for us Methodists, thank you), we are to remember the gift already given us, regardless of how undeserving we may feel. Further, I believe he asked us to remember not just at ‘communion,’ but every time we eat and drink. Bread and wine were common elements of meals in his day, so regardless of how we feel about any transformations that may occur in the blessing of bread and juice at communion, Jesus was asking us to associate his gift with something we would see everyday, several times a day—food and drink. Whenever you do this, remember me.
It is in that remembering we are healed: we are made whole, we are re-membered—as in, put back together. And in that simple, everyday act, we are reunited with Christ.
This Sunday is World Communion Sunday, where churches all over the world, including FUMC Lawrence, will celebrate communion. Dennis Ackerman, the District Superintendent of the Five Rivers District of the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church, will be preaching at the downtown services. His sermon is “Synergy,” based on the scripture 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Life worship begins at 9:40 in Brady Hall. Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00 in the sanctuary. West campus contemporary worship is at 9:30; Mitch continues his sermon series “John Wesley’s Greatest Hits,” with the fourth installment, “The World Is My Parish,” on Luke 4:16-30.
Come home to worship this Sunday and remember…
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator